Hello, I'm Geneva! I'm a tutor and teacher living in Chesapeake, VA. Currently I teach English as a Second Language with Chesapeake Public Schools. As well, I am an adjunct faculty member at Thomas Nelson Community College.
I have a Master's degree in English/Teaching English as a Second Language, and I have spent the past 2 years working in Japan as an English teacher for the Japanese government. Now that I am back in the U.S., I am excited to begin working with students and sharing how improving your language and writing skills can lead to world travel. I also am excited to teach/tutor Japanese language and share the culture I learned with students here.
I am a very interactive tutor. I work to create a welcoming environment where my students can find their own passions in learning. Also, I embrace technology, so I prefer to use internet sources whenever possible. I am proficient in Microsoft Office and Excel.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Western Kentucky University - Bachelors, Theatre Arts
Graduate Degree: Western Kentucky University - Masters, English/TESOL
ACT Composite: 32
Japanese culture and language, running, and reading
College Level American Literature
Elementary School Math
Elementary School Reading
Elementary School Science
Elementary School Writing
High School English
High School Level American Literature
High School Writing
Middle School Reading
Middle School Reading Comprehension
Middle School Writing
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a typical first session, I will usually sit down with a student (and their parent if they are under 18) and ask what the student expects to get out of the sessions. What goals do they have for our meetings? As well, I ask students to provide a bit of a background on their schooling and the methods they use to study. After that, depending on the subject, I will give a small test to determine the student's strengths and weaknesses. From there, we will work together to develop a schedule and an action plan to achieve those goals.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I will offer internet resources for the student to use in their free time between sources that are engaging and fun. There are quite a few review games that can make learning even the most repetitive information entertaining. As well, I will work with the student on organization skills and time management to develop a daily schedule that incorporates some sort of review or study.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I will not only provide positive feedback, but I will also try to connect what we are studying to the student's own interests and future goals. Students work best when they have a concrete goal to work towards in my opinion, so we will first determine that goal, and then develop a plan with smaller "checkpoints" along the way to that goal.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
I typically use the internet, online quizzes and tests, textbooks from the student's school/my personal library, and worksheets that I create based on the student's specific needs.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe that, as a teacher, my job is to inspire students to find their own passions and to take ownership of their own learning. I provide an environment for students that is challenging, nurturing, and encouraging. Tutoring sessions are driven by the student's own needs, and I use a collaborative, project-based style that puts the focus on student autonomy with teacher support. I believe that students in today's society must be technologically literate and able to use computers and the internet to continue their own study. Computers are a necessity in today's workforce, but despite the prevalence of social media/smart phones, many students are unable to use vital programs like Microsoft Word or Excel. I believe part of a teacher's job is to teach these skills in addition to their specific content area.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Students who struggle with reading comprehension are often missing fundamental skills in phonics and vocabulary. I work with these students to develop phonics skills in order to sight-read words. We also work on context clues, antonyms, and synonyms to understand unknown or difficult vocabulary words.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
I believe that sitting down with a student and creating a contract is the best way to start. Together, we decide what we both want to get out of the sessions, our goals for the sessions, and student/tutor responsibilities. We then will both sign the contract to provide a sense of responsibility and ownership.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Depending on the age of the student, I would try to connect the subject to possible career goals or things that they want to achieve in the future. I would also offer a reward by studying something they enjoyed for a period of time after we covered the subject they were struggling in.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
I would have the student attempt to explain the subject to me as if they were the teacher. This way I can check for gaps in understanding. I would also use small quizzes or games that check for comprehension.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
While working towards a larger, overall goal, I would set several "checkpoint" goals that would encourage a student's confidence. This way the student can see their own improvement.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
There are several diagnostic tests available to evaluate the student's needs. I would use one of these, depending on the situation. I would also ask a student if I could see their past test/quiz scores or homework from their classes in order to see their strengths and weaknesses.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
In the first session, the student and teacher should talk about learning styles and needs. This way, I can develop an action plan that serves the student's specific needs.